Mark Thompson

Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark Thompson has covered national security in Washington since 1979, and for Time since 1994. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkThompson_DC

Articles from Contributor

Battleland Battleland

Not New NATO News

A hat-tip to Defense Secretary Robert Gates for warning of NATO’s “dim, if not dismal future” unless its non-U.S. members starting funding their defenses more robustly. After 11 weeks of attacks on Libya, he noted, the allies are running short on bombs. “The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the …

Battleland Battleland

Battleland `Clash of the Titans’ on PBS Newshour

Battleland comrades Mackenzie Eaglen (defense analyst at the Heritage Foundation) and Gordon Adams (former defense chief at the Office of Management and Budget, and now at American University) went at it Thursday night on the PBS NewsHour, talking of the budget challenges facing Leon Panetta, the incoming defense secretary. OK — it …

Battleland Battleland

The Gearbox

The U.S. military is the world’s pre-eminent military force — by far — and most of that is because of its people and the way they train and led. But they’re none to shabby on the hardware side of the house, either. I just cobbled together a menu of the weapons systems used in recent U.S. military actions for and it has …

Battleland Battleland

Zippers Ahoy!

The Navy keeps losing commanders over problems associated with sexual fraternization. A dozen COs have been relieved of command this year so far, many of them because of relationships they shouldn’t have been having. Over on the U.S. Naval Institute’s blog, CDR Salamander — a respected but anonymous former Navy officer — weighs in …

Battleland Battleland

Why Businesses Lack a SEAL Team 6

Contrary to Stan McChrystal’s SEAL-hiring spree, there aren’t many businesses run like the famed special-forces team that killed Osama bin Laden last month. This piece from the Harvard Business Review explains why. “Most organizations can’t grow the professionalism of elite special forces units because they are constantly shifting …

Battleland Battleland

Documents Like This…

…make you wonder just what the heck it is we are doing in Afghanistan. It’s a new, 33-page Army contract solicitation seeking Facebook and Twitter experts who can sell the U.S. message to the locals. Makes one wonder why we are investing our blood and treasure in a fight that has to be sold to the people whose lives we are supposedly …

Battleland Battleland

Panetta’s Challenge

CIA chief Leon Panetta goes before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday like one of those guys on the old Ed Sullivan show trying to keep all those plates spinning atop wooden poles, running from one to another to keep them from falling to the floor and smashing to bits.

These are his goals:

Battleland Battleland

Delta Allegedly Bags Soldiers

So 34 troops flying home from Afghanistan via Delta on Tuesday say they were forced to fork over $2,800 of their own money because the airline said they were carrying too many bags home from combat. Made a nifty little video about it mid-flight, complete with a barf-bag signoff. Gotta love their video-firing-for-effect (indirect fire …

Battleland Battleland

Can’t Buy Me Peace

The Senate Democrats on the foreign relations committee have just issued as report saying that the $18.8 billion — so far — U.S. effort to rebuild Afghanistan has had limited success and may not survive a U.S. troop pullout. U.S. development money — now some $10 million a day — is sucking Afghan workers into jobs with contractors …

Battleland Battleland

Some Wars Never End

News from the Pentagon Tuesday afternoon:

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. Air Force Capt. Darrell J. Spinler of Browns

Battleland Battleland

Chinese Water Torture…

Spinning off Mark Benjamin’s Chinese posting: a couple of days after celebrating U.S. naval prowess in 1942’s Battle of Midway — widely seen as the turning point in World War II’s Pacific war between the U.S. and Japan — the guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon is continuing further east as tensions rise between China and its …

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